Giving Means Increasing
By Moshe Widen
Says the materialist: When I went to school 1+1=2 and 2-1=1. But according to the Torah's view of life which is the school of spirituality, the dimensions and parameters change. When our teacher Moses shared his divine revelations, he was compared to the light of a candle. Why? Because he could light other candles with his candle with out diminishing his own bright light. Not only did Moses not lose anything personally by giving, just the opposite! He brightened up the entire world with the extra light radiated by sharing his wisdom with others.
In the same manner, when a student gives of his time to help another student understand a subject he is having difficulty, the "giver" gains a deeper understanding by virtue of his explanations. Similarly a person who gives charity might seem to be left with less money. But the Creator, who controls all money, arranges it so the "giver" will make more money (or lose less) to make up what was donated.
So it turns out that mathematically speaking, 2-1>2. Two minus one equal something greater that the original two!
However when a person decides not to give, but tries to increase his wealth chasing after material gain, he may just lose. He starts out with just 1, but he is not satisfied with what he has. He thinks that if he could only afford more expensive clothing, then he would be happy. But after he works hard to earn the money to pay for the new garments, he is not satisfied, so he goes looking for something else to gratify his needs.
The same is true with physical desires. A person who partakes of physical desires to an excess will find that in the end he has less satisfaction, not more! For example, someone indulges in eating chocolate to an extreme will feel sick instead of feeling satiated. The pleasure that he desired will elude him. However, someone who eats a small amount will enjoy the special taste of the chocolate.
The sages tell us that when a person has one hundred, he wants two hundred. When he has two hundred, he wants four hundred. The reason that two hundred does not satisfy him is because it is not really the two hundred that he wants. What he really wants is that which he does not have!
The person who started with one hundred is only one hundred short of his goal. But when he tries to add another one hundred he becomes two hundred short of his goal. It turns out that 1+1<1, one plus one is less than one!
King Solomon said that "Stolen waters are sweet." Even though water has no taste the fact that it was stolen gives it a sweeter, more desirable taste.
Spiritual math is different than physical math because the spiritual constitutes a different dimension.